Proof of delivery: Logical Evolution for Route Accounting?

Product purchase modalities and places have profoundly changed in recent years and will continue to evolve: suffice it to think how much e-commerce has grown over the past months, with the help of the Covid-19 emergency.

Some time ago, some far-sighted realities had already decided to invest in the creation of a new distribution channel which should support traditional ones like onroad sales or order collection. A further end-customer-oriented one has been added, as explained in our latest post Towards D2C and Winking at B2B E-commerce.

What has indeed become clear by now is that it is not possible to consider channels independently and separatedly, but that they must be complementary, inside a single enterprise strategic design: the omnichannel approach.

What do proof of delivery (POD) or delivery certification have to do with all this?

In such a complex scenario, in which customers can resort to so many different purchase channels, delivery certification assumes increasing importance.

Thanks to POD digital solutions, companies can:

  1. Guarantee their customers the service has been correctly provided,
    certified by the deliverer and recipient’s identification, the GPS vehicle position, photographs collected, RFID tag reading, etc.
  2. Perform prompt management of potential delivery errors or product anomalies
  3. Obtain real-time information about vehicles position and delivery state
  4. Have precise and punctual information available to measure process efficiency and prevent invoicing mistakes (timely information on quantities actually delivered)
  5. And last but not least, safeguard the environment, thanks to route optimization for goods delivery.

The proof of delivery therefore works hand-in-hand with onroad sales, order collection, B2B and D2C e-commerce, etc. to achieve a single result: customer’s satisfaction.

What we have noticed over the recent period, working next to our customers in the food world, is that there is not only the need and the will to integrate the various distribution channels, but that this approach to markets also implies an evolution of traditional channels and, in particular, for the route accounting sales reps. At the moment, Sales reps deliver their goods but also “attempt” sales, having the stock in his van as the only limit. The use of e-commerce, both as purchase tool available 24 hours a day, and also as a way to send sellers a pre-order, allows the latter to concentrate mainly on delivery operations, guaranteeing a more precise, punctual and satisfying service to customers, meeting their exigencies, including those after the moment the order has been sent. All this without forgetting that it is an important efficiency index for companies to be able to start rounds where all the stock has previously been sold, especially in the case of refrigerated vans, given their high management costs.

Might this be the new scenario?